WHY THERE ARE SO MANY SHORT-TERM CONTRACTS
Speaking of the CBA, it’s no coincidence we’re seeing a plethora of one- and two-year deals being signed, particularly by young players coming out of entry level contracts who have very little leverage.
Teams might normally want to lock those players up long-term, or at least avoid a few arbitration-eligible years, but there is plenty of talk around the league that teams are, as they did the last time they had this negotiating dance with the players, trying to limit the number of contracts they have beyond the summer of 2012.
The Colorado Avalanche, it has been rumored, are unwilling to give anyone anything more than two years, which means when burgeoning power forward Chris Stewart is signed, it will be on a short contract. The Avs have already signed Kyle Quincey and Brandon Yip to two-year deals, as did the Phoenix Coyotes with Wojtek Wolski.
It would be almost impossible for the NHLPA to prove the league is colluding to keep these contracts short-term, but there’s little doubt teams are counting on the financial landscape changing once again after 2012 and they want as few commitments as possible when those changes come.
The only flaw in that theory is the CBA doesn’t expire until Sept. 15, 2012, meaning teams will have to sign and re-sign players that summer in the event a work stoppage is avoided.